Letters to the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Arming teachers in a school is a dumb Idea

Whether it is a Democrat, Republican, or Independent politician saying it, it is a DUMB idea to “arm” teachers in a school. I’ve heard our president repeat it several times and I still say it is a DUMB idea.

Training and a bonus for “guntoting” teachers will NOT change this DUMB idea into a GOOD idea. A very high percentage of school administrators, teachers, political leaders of both major political parties, and parents, have also stated using a variety of words that this is a DUMB idea.

I am very comfortable with weapons of war or weapons of protection. I am an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. I am a gun owner. I have a “concealed carry” permit. I spent 32 years in the military on active duty and received the Expert Ribbon for maximizing the qualifications with the M-16 (AR-15) assault rifle, the .38 caliber pistol, and the .9mm pistol.

I was a college director of education, a high school teacher, a high school and middle school principal. I was a member of the NRA (but canceled my membership four years ago because of their DUMB recommendations, like arming teachers). And, with all of this in my background, I still say that arming teachers in school is a DUMB idea.

Senator Marco Rubio said it well and repeated my fears if this DUMB idea gets any traction at all. He said in essence, “If SWAT comes into a serious situation like a school shooting and there is an adult with a gun, then bad and unfortunate things can happen.” Many other politicians have used similar scenarios to agree that it is a DUMB idea.

Plain-clothes police detectives say that their worst fear is being shot by the arriving uniformed or other plain-clothes officers. We should NEVER put teachers in that situation.

We MUST remember that the primary job of our teachers is teaching. Let’s find a way to protect our students and their schools while allowing teachers to teach.

I just can’t say it enough, “Arming teachers in a school is a DUMB Idea.”

Dr. Tom Waters

Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Random questions more profound than they seem

Do you listen or read daily news from various media outlets? Do you feel comfortable with the accuracy of what you hear or read?

I suggest keeping your answers to the foregoing questions in mind when you form answers to the ten following questions.

1. What do you feel is the most important thing in your life?

2. What do you believe is the most powerful force on the planet?

3. How do you feel about the political movement to establish a single world government?

4. What do you believe sets humans apart from most other animals?

5. Do you fully understand the meaning and implications of the word ‘infinite’?

6. What do you believe is the spark that gives life, sustains life and ends life?

7. How do you feel about the statement, ‘God gave us reason, not religion’?

8. How do you feel about the statement ‘You were born with the birthrights to be happy, healthy and abundant’?

9. How do you define abundant?

10. Do you subscribe to the statement ’Everything you have been led to believe as being true is false’?

These questions may at first seem random but they are actually all connected. Think about them, they are more profound than you may think at first.

Dwight W. Hunter

Family thanks hospice and church family for care

The family of Jean Hiller would like to express our sincere appreciation to Pro Care Hospice, especially Jason and Debbie, and to all the wonderful people from Encompass Home Health for the amazing care of the past few years of Jean. They are the best.

Also, a huge thank you to our wonderful church family at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, who made her feel so happy and loved.

Thanks again,

The family of Jean Hiller

We should be considering the potential for harm

Like other Americans I am deeply troubled and struggling to get my mind around the horror that occurred in that Parkland, Florida high school. It is all but impossible to grasp how anger or a desire for revenge can reach a level that motivates the mass killing of innocent people.

Parents, grandparents, and every compassionate person is desperate for a way to finally end the madness that seems to have no end. There are those who believe what should be done is gun up! And be ready to shoot the bad guys, anytime, anywhere. And the gun lobby, which includes arms makers and the NRA, will oppose most legislation that could limit citizen access to firearms.

In the news, thoughtful speakers have made the point that turning our schools into fortresses is the wrong thing to do. I agree. As a retired prison inspector with the Florida Department of Corrections, I can say with certainty that a prison-like environment is not conducive to a wholesome learning experience.

Short of rescinding the Second Amendment, what reasonable steps can be taken to keep guns out of the hands of those who should never have them? It seems to me that at least part of the solution involves process.

For example: In the United States driving a motor vehicle is still viewed as a privilege, rather than a right. Surely, considering the potential for harm, buying a gun ought to be at least as involved as qualifying for a driver’s license.

As it relates to the lawful sale of firearms, a workable process might include the following:

■ Complete an application that requires answers to pointed questions, such as: Why do you want to purchase a firearm? For hunting? Target competition? Self-defense? Other: Explain in detail.

■ Have you ever taken medication for anxiety or depression?

■ Have you ever been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder? While many would avoid the truth, some responses could be very enlightening.

■ Applicants must meet certain requirements of age, citizenship and pass a thorough background investigation that reveals any involvement with law enforcement with law enforcement, criminal history and known mental health issues. This could generate a RED FLAG for local law enforcement, ATF and the FBI.

■ There must be some exceptions on the type of firearms that may be purchased. Guns originally or specifically designed for the military should be unavailable for public sale.

■ Buying firearms via the internet must cease. “Casual” or person-to-person transfers must be strictly regulated. Virtually all sales of guns should be from a licensed dealer, who must witness the purchaser’s signature on an application to be submitted for processing. This could take far more than three days.

Realistically, there is no final solution that can eliminate gun violence. Criminals and the mentally disturbed will continue to acquire firearms. But something more must be done to protect the general public, students and our children. I intend to send my thoughts on this matter to my representatives in Washington. I urge others to do the same.

Ralph Bazan

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